A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to share my career path with Graduate students at Kendall College of Art & Design. The day included a lecture followed by Q&A and studio visits with gallery critiques. Not only did I talked about art, looked at art but I also purchased art. If what I saw is an indication of the quality of work that is to come, I am very pleased.
There were many fantastic artists but these are the ones that most resonated with me. I am still digging more about these up and coming artists because I think they are up to something.
Matt’s photographic works are a real treat. He emulates images of nature by creating small artificial props made with every day objects. In the works I saw, ocean waves were molded with Vaseline and the sea surface was created with black plastic bags among other ordinary objects. The scale of the photographs enhances the sublimity of the subject matter. The surreal aesthetic of a disjunction between what we recognized as nature and what actually is man-made materials makes it an interesting proposition. I look forward to see more.
Aneka’s work depicts figurative narratives of disparate realities. Her works on paper evoke a dream-like state in which the viewer might very well be the main protagonist of an endless story. Using personal imagery and cultural symbolisms such as a gas mask or a group of business women, the beautifully rendered works emerge from a meandering of flat shapes and patterns to realistically represented objects. Womanhood appears to be an important exploration in Aneka’s work. There is a strong sense that her work is a fragment within a larger context of unseen fragments. This fragmented reality seems to fit well with the current reality we live in.
I have known Salvador for a few years and have been following his work for a while. He is having a very productive time at Kendall. Salvador is strong in many mediums such as painting, drawing, photography and installation. Currently, he is mixing it all in installation works which I find fascinating. Salvador’s work deals with identity in many socio-cultural levels. Departing with imagery from his own Latino background to more abstracted organic forms, his work speaks beyond the cultural experience and into a more personal conversation of the multi-faceted roles we all play. His outstanding craftsmanship entice the viewer to a close inspection which results in surprisingly new discoveries.
I was impressed by the sensibility and strength of Miranda’s works. Her paintings challenge the aesthetic of beauty and physical imperfections by questioning our assumptions at ever turn. From small paintings of tooth decay to large scale in-your-face hands with missing fingers or distorted joints, these works bring a sense of dignity and heroic triumph to an otherwise discarded truth about ourselves. Besides the confrontational aspect of the subject matter, Miranda renders human flesh with a sensuous ability suggestive of delicate beauty and humanity. Not only the work is strong but it reflects a passionate and personal encounter with her own aesthetic sensitivity. I found Miranda Graham to be an artist to watch for the coming years!
Other great artists I met were Dustin Rogers, Katie Moore, Laurie Hunt, Shannon R. McDonell, Tatsuki Hakoyama, Ashlee Lambart, Nikki Turner, and Steven Rainey. They all had great work and I am honored that through their work, they gave me a window into their personal story. Kudos to all of them on a successful future after Kendall. Also special thanks to professor Deborah Rockman for the invitation and for the special attention I was given while at Kendall.